BREAKING: The World is Not Even Kinda Sorta Enough: Porsche Contemplates Buying Primo VAG

Illustration for article titled BREAKING: The World is Not Even Kinda Sorta Enough: Porsche Contemplates Buying Primo VAG

You cannot stop Martin Winterkorn, you can only hope to contain him. As of yesterday, that is. As of today, he is (possibly) in full blitz mode. The boys at motorauthority.com are reporting that Porsche, as the largest shareholder in the Volkswagen Group, is about to spin Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti off into a Ford style PAG group sans Ford. Or in this case, sans VeeDub, Skoda and Seat. All that leaps to our collective mind is how weird it will be to have the 911 and R8 under the same roof. And what will Lambo do if there is in fact another Bugatti? And what on earth will they base the next A3 on? The Cayman? Stay tuned to this blog, eat your veggies, etc.

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Porsche to buy Audi, Lamborghini, Bugatti and Bentley? [MotorAuthority.com]

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DISCUSSION

my-favorite-car-is-a-motorcyc-old
my favorite car is a motorcycle

Sharing marketing and sales outlets for luxury brands makes sense. Sharing technologies and certain capital-intensive components sometimes makes sense. Merging elite car companies into a big umbrella so that "badge engineering" can take place NEVER makes sense.

Those intimately familiar with Ford's financial pain in the last decade know that the PAG strategy has been a massive waste of resources and time for Ford.

The dumbass management at FoMoCo thought that the same underpinnings and parts-bin components engineered by Mazda could be used globally for their cheap Fords and Mercs and also for Jags and Volvos. Surprise! People who pay 2x the purchase price expect 2x the quality AND exclusivity. Precision costs money. Those who care about craftsmanship demand more than just a snazzy interior and curvy sheetmetal styling, but also chassis tuning, refined switchgear & controls, etc.

Ford may be able to save costs for old European automakers by modernizing production techniques, but when Ford beancounters tried to nickle & dime away the quality and uniqueness out of their expensive cars, that's when the bottom fell out of the sales numbers. Only massive redesign & all-new model introductions at Volvo and Aston kept them afloat. Jaguar is still on life support.

As for Porsche, Winterkorn must realize that sales of VW/Skoda/Seat are reliable, whereas sales of Bentley/Lambo/Bugatti are relatively sporatic. Only when rock stars have a megahit or CEOs pull the golden parachute pullcord do supercar sales ring up.

To pool extreme luxury brands into one basket strikes me as a risky strategy... unless it brings the Porsche Cayman to me for under $30k.